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A Good Month For Prog


Robo_1
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Found myself hitting the "place order" button on Play more this month than my wallet was ready for :D

First off is the new Pallas album. "The Dreams of Men" is a definite follow on to the mature direction the band has taken since "The Cross and the Crucible". The opening track packs the same moody tones of it's predecessor, with the use of violins really heightening the drama of the piece. The rest of the album glides along nicely, with the fantastic "Ghost Dancers" being the album's lynch pin. Overall it's great stuff, packed with atmosphere and soaring melodies, and the limited edition comes with a full disc of remixes and out-takes, which are all rather interesting.

Next up, Neal Morse has released the ambiguously titled "?". Since his immersion in Christianity, I've given his solo work a wide berth. Not because of his chosen beliefs, but 60 minutes of preaching does not a good album make. However, I was told his new album is back to his bearded roots, and whilst this is sort of true, there is nothing here to rival the likes of "Source", "The Light" or even "Day for Night".

Finally, Dead Soul Tribe will release "The Dead World" next week, an album I'm really looking forward to, after last years magnificently chilling "January Tree".

That's pretty much it, any more suggestions or highlights from this or last month I've missed though?

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The new Pallas album is pretty good, better than The Cross And The Crucible by a fair margin.

Note to Neal Morse : Stop the fucking preaching and stick to the music.  77 minute instrumentals would be preferable to the lyrics being served up over the last 3 solo albums.

...and I thought nobody cared :)

Agree with you on both counts, a friend of mine actually bought his Christian releases, and ohhhhhh boy, only the strongest of stomachs can handle what Neal dishes out on that one*.

Personally I think the Beard are a stronger band without him. Neals a great song writer, but it's clear he's starting to stagnate. Octane is the freshest thing Spock's Beard have done since Kindness of Strangers.

*I should mention my friend is a Christian also, but even he can't believe the sort of thing Neal comes out with on that album.

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Remember to keep an eye/ear out for Pallas's "No sleep till Rotherham" dvd coming out in the new year!

Also ordering the new Magenta dvd later (from progrock.co.uk). Also don't forget to check the prog show on arfm sunday afternoons from 3.00pm. Availble on teh Interweb and also on sky digital 913!

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My favourite recent prog release is Sieges Even - The Art of Navigating by the Stars. Great stuff.

Another band I can recommend VERY highly is Polish band Riverside. Their album Out Of Myself is great, and the new one, Second Life Syndrome is rumoured to be even better.

I've heard some rather negative reports about the new Dead Soul Tribe, so I think for now I'll skip it.

Hotly anticipating Devin Townsend's Synchestra. Also ordered Pallas, should be arriving soon.

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Another band I can recommend VERY highly is Polish band Riverside. Their album Out Of Myself is great, and the new one, Second Life Syndrome is rumoured to be even better.

I've heard some rather negative reports about the new Dead Soul Tribe, so I think for now I'll skip it.

Have the Riverside albums coming, looking forward to checking them out.

I can't get on with Dead Soul Tribe, especially The January Tree, it's a bit bland in places.

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Hotly anticipating Devin Townsend's Synchestra. Also ordered Pallas, should be arriving soon.

Now that should be suitably crazy.

I find Devin Townsend's stuff drastically shifts in quality. I thought "Accelerated Evolution" was a good listen, but "Teria" bored the life out of me.

Who are Riverside comparable to?

I'm holding out until Christmas for the new Dead Soul Tribe one, but I loved the "January Tree", (although I can understand criticisms of it sounding bland, as it is very much the same sort of sound under each song), so I'm keeping fingers crossed for that one.

Has anyone picked up the new Pendragon album, quite a departure for them, but excellent stuff all round.

Currently I'm listening to a lot of Arena, I enjoyed "Peppers Ghost", but its not a patch of "Contagion", which could very well be my favourite album....ever.

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I find Devin Townsend's stuff drastically shifts in quality. I thought "Accelerated Evolution" was a good listen, but "Teria" bored the life out of me.

Who are Riverside comparable to?

Currently I'm listening to a lot of Arena, I enjoyed "Peppers Ghost", but its not a patch of "Contagion", which could very well be my favourite album....ever.

Devin Townsend's Ocean Machine, Terria and Accelerated Evolution definitely feature very high on my all time favourite album list.

Riverside - comparisons are made with Porcupine Tree, Anathema and Pink Floyd, but generally I find them more varied than that, they've got a strong identity of their own. Sometimes it gets quite heavy, other times extremely melodic and mellow. Definitely worthwhile. I did find their Out Of Myself album more immediately appealing than Second Life Syndrome, but I suspect the latter will grow on me. I did reach a point where most modern prog started to bore me, but Riverside together with the new Sieges Even album have restored my faith.

As for Arena, their recent albums all started sounding the same to me, with Contagion being the best of them, although I probably still prefer The Visitor and Songs From a Lion's Cage. They seem to have a pattern of releasing a good album followed by a poor one!

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I really like Arena lately - just started getting their back catalogue. The Visitor and Immortal are just brilliant.

I got into Arena as I wanted a band that sound similar to Marillion before Marillion stopped sounding like Marillion in the mid/late 90's (if you know what I mean)

Also I like Fish (amazing live in concert, i was the youngest there at one of his gigs last year and probably stuck out like a sore thumb), Pendragon and of course Marillion

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well Christmas morning came, and I got both Riverside's "Second Life Syndrome", and Dead Soul Tribe's: "The Dead World". My reaction to Riverside was great, album finishes, press play again on player, then go to Amazon and order their first album :wub:

Really great stuff, I see why all the comparisons are relevant, but in in a "but they're far more than that", kind of way.

The new Tribe album is easily their darkest yet, but if you liked their previous ones, it's all good stuff with "My Last Wish", being a definite favourite.

As a surprise I also received Ayreon's new project: "Stream of Passion". It gets a little samey, but what's good is really good. Imagine Star One meets Ambion, and you should know what to expect from this.

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